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Using digital marketing to reduce market frictions and spur MSEs growth: A RCT in Egypt
Initial registration date
January 09, 2020
February 09, 2020 7:36 PM EST
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University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
The main problem we are trying to address is why more firms do not expand their markets by using the new technology of digital advertising. Digital technology enables firms to overcome information and other frictions that prevent firms and customers connecting across space. However, firms may not adopt this new technology because they lack the knowledge of how to do so, or are uncertain of the returns and consider it risky. We aim to identify which firms can benefit from engaging with and advertising on digital advertising platforms, to explore the reasons why they may not already be doing so, and to test whether input-based versus results-based approaches are most cost-effective for policy.
McKenzie, David, Adam Osman and Aminur Rahman. 2020. "Using digital marketing to reduce market frictions and spur MSEs growth: A RCT in Egypt." AEA RCT Registry. February 09.
Firms will be offered a mixture of information, training and assistance, and take-up incentives to encourage their take-up and usage of the new technology of digital marketing.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are interested in primary outcomes in two key domains:
Domain 1: Take-up and Usage of Digital Marketing Technology.
This will be measured by:
1. Percentage of firms with a Facebook page for the firm
2. Percentage of firms that have done paid advertising on Facebook in the last three months.
Domain 2: Firm performance
This will be measured by:
1. Sales made to new customers who have heard of firm through digital marketing efforts
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
These primary outcomes will be refined prior to collection of our first follow-up data, and will be explained in the pre-analysis plan
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
To be defined in pre-analysis plan
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Firms will be in one of four arms:
(1) Digital Marketing Training + Advertising Subsidy + Business Support
(2) Pay for Performance (Digital Marketing Presence and Advertising)
(3) Information Only (4) Control
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
2550 small firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
850 in training & subsidy, 850 in pay for performance, 300 in information, 550 in pure control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Approval Date